January 7, 2021
Photo by Anthony Barboza/Getty Images
Lauryn Hill‘s debut solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was considered an instant classic as it contributed to bringing hip-hop and neo soul to the forefront of popular music while simultaneously breaking records and earning her five Grammys.
As a result of the huge success she received, it has always been a mystery as to why she never followed up with a sophomore album.
It’s been almost 23 years since the album’s release and she’s finally revealing why.
“The wild thing is no one from my label has ever called me and asked how can we help you make another album, EVER…EVER,” she disclosed to Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums podcast.
The New Jersey native later went on to explain how she was praised for her talent but not as a person. Before the album was released, she felt “free to explore, experiment and express.” However, that wasn’t the case once the album was released.
“After the Miseducation, there were scores of tentacled obstructionists, politics, repressing agendas, unrealistic expectations, and saboteurs EVERYWHERE,” said the former Fugees member. “People had included me in their own narratives of THEIR successes as it pertained to my album, and if this contradicted my experience, I was considered an enemy.”
When speaking to the album’s legacy, Hill stated that “…I challenged the norm and introduced a new standard. I believe the Miseducation did that and I believe I still do this – defy convention when the convention is questionable.”
As a result of the lack of support and added stress to not only her but her family, she made the decision to not subject herself to that again.
“I sacrificed the quality of my life to help people experience something that should have been unreachable before then. When I saw people struggle to appreciate what that took, I had to pull back and make sure I and my family were safe and good. I’m still doing that.”
Hill addressed rumors and critics in an essay published on Medium in 2018 stating that “The myth that I’m not allowed to play the original versions of my songs is a myth (anyone who’s seen my current show knows this).”
“I remix my songs live because I haven’t released an album in several years,” she continued. “There’s no way I could continue to play the same songs over and over as long as I’ve been performing them without some variation and exploration. I’m not a robot.”
Tell us: Do you think it’s likely she’ll release new music in the near future?